As a holistic practitioner, I look at the whole person when they walk through my front door. We are much more complex than just what meets the eye. As a result of my interest in helping people in all aspects of their lives, it’s not uncommon to indulge in discussions of religion and spirituality.
Creating sacred space in your home is something that anyone can do, regardless of your religious beliefs (or lack thereof). This is something that is personal to you. I’m going to simply define sacred space as a part of your home/life that is filled with meaningful things that touch you, inspire you, and motivate you to live a life of love and compassion.
The concept is that your sacred space is going to externally reflect what you’ve already internally cultivated. By creating sacred space, you are dedicating an area of your home for spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, journaling, prayer, worship, chanting/singing, reflection, introspection, surrender, etc.
Sacred space doesn’t have to be an elaborate self-standing altar or shrine filled with ornate statues and decor; it could be as simple as placing a photo of a loved one next to a thought-provoking quote on…
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” – Babatunde Olatunji
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
What Does “Living in the Moment” Mean?
In everyday life we rarely pay full attention to anything. When we’re at work, we dream of vacation. When we’re on vacation, we stress about the work that’s going to be awaiting our return. Our society has all but lost the ability to live in the moment.
You frequently hear me talk about “being present”, “living in the moment”, and “practicing mindfulness”. These phrases are all used synonymously and were a core part of Buddha’s original teachings. If you aren’t familiar with this concept of mindfulness or living in the present, I highly encourage you to watch one of my favorite movies: “Peaceful Warrior” (it’s available on Netflix Instant).
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Siddhārtha Gautama (Buddha)
Don’t let the…
As someone who combats stress on a professional level, I have quite a bit to say about the subject. I could easily fill this newsletter with a dozen very practical, very helpful tips on learning how to unwind, de-stress, and relax. This is such an important topic because it’s been estimated that stress is responsible for up to 80% of disease; that’s a pretty staggering statistic.
Dr. Don Colbert says in his book Deadly Emotions, “Stress is not about events and experiences nearly so much as it is about a person’s perception of the circumstances that occur in his or her life. A person’s stress level has to do with what a person believes.” (pg. 22). One of my gurus (Dr. Wayne Dyer) says, “There is no stress in the world, only people thinking stressful thoughts.” Minor stress symptoms, such as headaches and heartburn, cannot be ignored. Before long, you may experience major symptoms such as heart failure or stroke. At that point, it may be too late to turn your life around. Now that we see the link between our mind (which dictates our stress level) and our physical and emotional health (which is tremendously affected by stress), don’t…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Jesus Christ
Living in Tulsa, it’s no surprise that I’ve faced some opposition when it comes to teaching yoga. Most of this resistance, however, comes from people of faith that really aren’t educated about yoga. They have no personal experience with it. Perhaps their pastor has spoken against it or they’ve read an article online saying that it is “bad” or “pagan”. This month I will be defending practicing yoga in the context of Christianity. I understand that this topic will greatly intrigue some, and leave others shrugging their shoulders saying, “Who cares? Why is this such a big deal?”
I don’t bring up religion or politics very often, for obvious reasons. I want to unite, not divide. Although I presently consider myself much more “spiritual” than “religious”, the fact is that I was raised in the Christian church. I went to a private school from K-12 and even for several semesters of college. I was in church every Sunday (sometimes for multiple services) and Wednesday. As I grew older, I attended every time the doors were open….
“Your issues are in your tissues” is a phrase that’s nearly become a cliché among bodyworkers and alternative health professionals. And no, when I say “tissues”, I’m not referring to a Kleenex catching your tears. I’m suggesting that the tissues, muscles, and organs of your body respond to each thought and emotion that you experience.
What’s always puzzled me is that people are 100% on board with saying something like, “I carry all my stress in my shoulders”, but then they look at me like I’m crazy when I suggest that their anger is damaging their liver or their fear is tightening their psoas muscle. If we are comfortable saying that stress (an unseen element in our lives that is completely mental and emotional in nature) affects us physically, why wouldn’t the other hundreds of thoughts and emotions that we experience on a daily basis do the exact same? What we’re talking about here is often referred to as the “mind/body connection”. What happens in the mind affects the body, and vice versa.
This is the premise of a holistic view of life and health: one aspect of life affects all the rest. We like to compartmentalize our life into “work”,…
Have you ever gotten a massage where everything is going great until you feel that sudden CRUNCH? “Wow, that was tender,” you think to yourself, but you choose to try to stay in that place of tranquility. It happens again. CRUNCH. You eventually work up the nerve to ask your massage therapist, “What IS that?!” Your therapist can reply in many different ways, but the most common, poignant reply is, “Knots.”
I have many clients who have come into my studio for the first time talking about the “knots” in their neck, shoulders, etc. In the massage industry, we talk so much about knots, but what are they? How do you get them? Better yet, how do you get rid of them? Shall we be so bold as to ask how to prevent them?! The term “knot” doesn’t have a medical definition, yet it’s used heavily among professionals and educated massage consumers alike. My goal this month is to shine some light on the topic.
One of the most classic rants I’ve heard from a client is, “HOW DO I HAVE A KNOT IN MY PINKY?!” The fact is that knots can appear anywhere that…